Your laptop is capable of a lot. It packs just about everything you could need electronically into one device. But, that’s not to say it couldn’t do with a few accessories to expand or augment its features.
Your trackpad might be good enough in a pinch, and your keyboard could do for sending off a quick email. For serious work, you may find yourself wanting something better, though. That’s where some of these accessories can come in.
Handy laptop accessories will make sure your device’s shortcomings are easier to overlook. We’ve picked out several products that we feel can dramatically improve the experience you have using your laptop. And, they may be enough to keep you from needing to spend a load of extra cash to upgrade to a new laptop.
We haven’t had a chance to test all of these accessories ourselves, but don’t worry – we here at TechRadar are laptop experts, and we’ve used our tech expertise to find the best laptop accessories on the market right now.
What you need to know about Black Friday 2019
Deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are always excellent times of year to purchase laptop accessories. Usually the most common retailers will have lots of accessory offers, but it will be tough to find the true deals. We’ll do as much of that work for you as possible, but it always helps to cross reference your deals with manufacturer store pages. So, it’s uncertain that waiting for Black Friday will get you a better discount than right now (our proprietary price-grabbing tool finds all the latest deals).
1. RAVPower FileHub Travel Router AC750
Wireless SD card and USB
Mac-formatted drives not supported
The FileHub from RAVPower is an enormously capable device that can benefit just about any laptop. While many accessories rely on USB connections to connect to your laptop, the file hub uses Wi-Fi. In other words, it won’t matter if your computer only has one USB-C port or only has USB-A ports.
The FileHub creates a wireless local network to allow for wireless data transfer. That’s a good start, but it gets better with the FileHub’s built-in SD card reader and USB port. This means you transfer files and backup data between USB drives, SD cards, and your laptop without any wires.
It also has an Ethernet port, so you can connect it to modems and use it as a Wi-Fi router. You can also use it to extend existing Wi-Fi networks.
2. Anker 5-in-1 USB-C hub
Affordably expanded functionality
Many port options
Anker’s compact USB-C hub is a helpful device for ensuring the USB-C port on your laptop isn’t a limitation. It can turn a single USB-C port into five separate connectivity options all at once.
It has two USB 3.0 Type-A ports that you can plug thumb drives, external hard drives, keyboard, mice, and more into. It also has a full-size SD card reader and a microSD card reader. And, there’s an HDMI port with support for up to 4K at 30Hz or 2K and Full HD at 60Hz.
The hub also includes a handy travel pouch to keep debris out of the ports and to protect the attached cable.
3. Corsair K83 Wireless
Strong typing chops
Multiple connection options
A tad pricey
If your laptop’s keyboard and trackpad don’t feel like they’re as good as they could be, you don’t have to rely on them. The Corsair K83 Wireless keyboard is a brilliant option to upgrade.
The Corsair K83 combines an excellent feeling keyboard with a trackpad into a device that’s ready to sit on your lap, offering comfortable typing and mouse navigation while your laptop sits on a table. The trackpad even has separate mouse buttons for easier click-and-drag control.
You’ll be able to connect the Corsair K83 to your laptop using the included USB dongle, which offers a gaming-level 1 millisecond response time. Or, you can connect it via Bluetooth, freeing up your USB ports for other devices.
Read our full Corsair K83 review
4. Logitech MX Master 2S
Logitech’s MX Master 2S wireless mouse is simply the best mouse you can get for productivity on your laptop. It combines an excellent, ergonomic design (albeit only for right-handed users) with multiple scroll wheels and customizable buttons.
Aside from its impeccable tracking, which can make mouse-intensive work a lot easier than a trackpad would, the option to customize the buttons can help you navigate extra quickly. Plus, its support for both Bluetooth and USB connectivity means you can choose how you want to connect to your laptop. The battery will keep you using it wirelessly for up to 70 days on a single charge.
Read our full Logitech MX Master 2S review
5. SanDisk Ultra Fit
Minimize your storage concerns
While our laptops’ storage is getting ever faster with SSDs and more recently PCIe-based drives, the cost is also going up. And, that’s leads many to buy laptops with smaller capacities – 128GB and 256GB laptops are not uncommon.
Upgrading to higher capacities generally comes at a high price, and you may not need that much storage right away. And, unless you’re loading your laptop up on software, you may not need to go with an internal upgrade at all. SanDisk’s Ultra Fit drive is a potent add-on that can plug into a USB port and simply live there permanently.
We’ve added 128GB of storage to our laptop and never unplug the drive. It makes for a great boost to storage, and is excellent for holding files, pictures and videos. With USB 3.1 speeds, files transfer quickly. And, if you’re worried about security, the drive can be encrypted, so someone can’t easily access your files by snagging the drive.